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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a box blade some years ago thinking it would help me keep my long driveway smooth. So far it doesn't seem to help much. So I'm thinking of getting a land planer / grading scraper.

Can anyone relate their experiences keeping a driveway smooth with box blade vs planer.
 

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The box blade is a love/hate relationship. Sometimes you can get it right, other times, :dunno:

I always wanted to add gauge wheels to mine, seems like wheels would make it easier to control.

OR, add an extra blade to the back of the box, wouldn't it be like a land plane then?? :fing32:

Gotta run what you brung!! I ain't givin' up! :woohoo1:
 

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Hydraulic top link. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ever consider a soil pulverizer? I also have a BB and rear blade, my neighbor likes using my BB to maintain his yard and I prefer the SP

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=100397&highlight=
Thanks. But I'm a bit unclear. Is the SP something you would use on a driveway? Seems to mostly be talking about using it on a yard. Would I not still need something to smooth it or does it fill in the ruts and potholes? The land in that link looks really smooth already.
 

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I mentioned earlier the box blade is a love/hate relationship.

I do not use mine on the driveway much. BUT, I did build an attachment, that is along the lines of a soil pulverizer.

Actually my design was inspired by a SP, but, I modified the design to not dig-in as much as the SP does.



It was originally designed to spread horse manure in the pasture, but, does an incredible job of driveway leveling.





The name was inspired by available decals, and that it is for my wifes horses!! :fing32:
 

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Thanks. But I'm a bit unclear. Is the SP something you would use on a driveway? Seems to mostly be talking about using it on a yard. Would I not still need something to smooth it or does it fill in the ruts and potholes? The land in that link looks really smooth already.
It works very well filling in holes etc. This spring I had to dig ditchs along the road to drain everything and I just filled it all in over the last couple days with the SP. With an adjustable top link you can change the bite of the teeth as well.
 

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I tend to agree with CADplans that using one of these kinds of attachments can be a love-hate relationship, regardless of which tool it is. I've used a grader blade, box blade, landscape rake with wheels and a plain old spike-tooth drag harrow. All mostly for smoothing roadways around our place. Whichever one I use, sometimes the results are good and other days I'm not too pleased. I keep looking for the technique that's going to make it look like I've just spread icing on a cake. I can get there, too; it just sometimes takes awhile.

My FIL is an old-time heavy equipment operator. His advice? Just take your time & don't try to do it all in one bite. Usually works pretty well.. plus it's a little more tractor time. :D

On the grader-plane, the county uses one occasionally on our gravel roads. Results look good. I would think it would be most useful, though, on pretty long stretches .. 100+ yards. But, shorter might work well, too. Advantage of the tool looks like its simplicity. Nothing to set or adjust. Just hook it up & go.

Your terrain & surface material will probably give you a good idea of how aggressive the tool needs to be.

Sorry for getting long-winded. This is just a fun subject to yak about! :D
 

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I maintain the common ground gravel road and golf cart paths for my HOA. I designed and built this land plane which works very good for that application. The bad news is that I also need a rear blade to crown the road and cut ditches along the side. The hydraulic lift allows me to move and drop gravel in selected areas. I now pull the plane with my 2210 for a little more pulling power. The 455 did pretty good since I can control the depth.

I now pull the plane with my 2210 for a little more pulling power. The 455 did pretty good since I can control the depth.


I have used the plane to grade a couple neighbors yards. I do not think a box blade could be as smooth as the land plane.

Grader with dirt.JPG

Works for me,
GotDeeres
 

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I have a 7' Cammond industrial grading scraper and it works great. I would recommend one with scarifiers to help get gravel into the grading scraper when you're starting out because the ground is often hard and you don't make much of an impact with out them. I wish my grading scraper had scarifiers then I wouldn't have to use diamond harrows underneath my grading scraper to break up the driveway. It works best when there is lots of gravel going over the blades, and you want your speed to be higher when your spreading the gravel for the finishing passes. After the second time grading I had transformed a farm beaten, washboard, pothole ridden Y-shaped driveway into a nice smooth one
 

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I think Luv2Q's father-in-law has it right: take your time and don't try to do too much at once. We have an 800' driveway, some steep spots, with "dutchmen." and I've worked it with a grading blade and a box blade. Both work when I'm not rushing. I like being able to push backwards with the box blade -- scraped a mass of wet leaves on the drive in the woods, then lifted the box, drove ahead, and pushed the pile off the drive. Easy.
 

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I have worked with a guy that uses one of these for grading driveways. It works great, much better than a back blade for filling potholes and smoothing drives. Note that the cutter blades are offset from one side to the other. The side box panels block material from spilling over and they float on the grade level.You would probably need to scarify to loosen the gravel if it is very hard-packed.
2448822
land plane.jpg
 

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What ever method used if there are potholes filling them will only mask the problem. Pot holes are sure signs of bad or poor base. The holes need to be cut to the point of repairing the roadbed damage. Surface materials installed and then compacted.
Our HOA used to hire a guy to come in and grade our road with a Cat maintainer. He would only do the scratch the rock into the holes thing. A few weeks later it would look like nothing was done. Finally convinced them we might as well be have rock delivered and just fill the holes ourselves.
I suppose if one works at it long enough and often enough the scratch and fill thing works. But you have to be willing to stay on top of it.
 

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Pot holes are sure signs of bad or poor base. The holes need to be cut to the point of repairing the roadbed damage. Surface materials installed and then compacted.
Very true. I used to engineer low volume forest roads for a living. I've seen many miles of "cat roads" that are a total wreck because they are just cleared and graded, resulting in basically a trench. I have learned the three most important things in keeping roads in good shape are drainage, drainage and drainage. Get the surface up above the terrain by borrow-pit ditching and lifting, add culverts and diversions as needed. Then, add surface gravel that can be graded and the potholes will be manageable.
 

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Very true. I used to engineer low volume forest roads for a living. I've seen many miles of "cat roads" that are a total wreck because they are just cleared and graded, resulting in basically a trench. I have learned the three most important things in keeping roads in good shape are drainage, drainage and drainage. Get the surface up above the terrain by borrow-pit ditching and lifting, add culverts and diversions as needed. Then, add surface gravel that can be graded and the potholes will be manageable.
Worked in a highway materials engineering department for 28 years and with general contractors all that time. We had to deal with some real design blunders occasionally. What works in one area may not work in another. But one thing always remained constant no matter were the job was and that was the job had to have a good base regardless what was put on it.
I have a dirt drive I have been compacting, repairing and compacting again for 8 years. This maybe the year to grade it and turn the top surface and till in a few loads of powdered lime. Compact it wet add a few inches of large and small base rock and compact it some more. By that time it maybe ready for surface rock and should last a long time with just some annual or semi annual maintenance. Good drives and roadways just don't happen by chance.
 

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This spring I had to dig ditchs along the road to drain everything and I just filled it all in over the last couple days with the SP.
The whole drainage thing is critical. It can be done in several ways - outsloping 2% on a hillside so the water runs across, crowning across the center so water runs into side ditches, adding hauled-in fill or borrow pit material to get the road up off the terrain, surfacing with gravel - and whatever ditches, culverts and runoff channels will keep the water off the road. If you like lots of seat time, poor drainage will do it for you endlessly, regardless of the machine used for grading.
I have some friends with long drives that work them over several times a season and they are continual potholes. My suggesting they get the road up and out of a trench condition just gets looks like I have two heads. On the other hand I have built many well-drained mountain forest roads that stay rock solid with a good native base and some gravel on top and only need grading every few years.
 
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